Matsuzaka's effort is a fantastic sign for the Sox. There still has yet to be a clean run through one turn of the rotation, but having Matsuzaka on board can only help.
The next "question mark" comes Wednesday when Tim Wakefield returns from his two-plus weeks in the bullpen to make a start opposite Shaun Marcum.
The first pitch is scheduled for 1:35 p.m., but there will be plenty of rain in the area. We'll keep you posted right here on all the weather-related issues.
Final, Red Sox 6-1: Very quietly the Red Sox have won 14 of 21, are now tied in the loss column with the Blue Jays and for the moment are just five games out of first.
And if that doesn't offer up enough hope that they can put aside their previous struggles, then Daisuke Matsuzaka's performance should.
Matsuzaka was fantastic in this one, and with the uncertainty surrounding Josh Beckett right now, Boston could've used a quality outing to feel better about its rotation.
Heading downstairs. Back in a bit with reaction.
End 8th, Red Sox 6-1: Hideki Okajima is sprinting onto the field and will be charged with finishing what Daisuke Matsuzaka started.
The Sox are three outs from improving to 7-2 on the homestand and moving two games above .500 for the first time all year.
Mid 8th, Red Sox 6-1: Ramon Ramirez does his job in the eighth, despite allowing a pair of runners to reach. Hideki Okajima was up in the Red Sox bullpen but is not throwing at this moment. We'll see what happens in the ninth.
By the way, Mike Cameron went 1-for-3 with a walk in his second rehab game for Triple-A Pawtucket. He will get tomorrow off and then play with PawSox again on Thursday.
End 7th, Red Sox 6-1: After the Red Sox strike out three times in the seventh, they turn to Ramon Ramirez to start the eighth. Ramirez left his last outing with soreness in his right triceps muscle but has insisted for a few days that he is feeling OK.
Daisuke Matsuzaka's line:
7 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 9 K
Mid 7th, Red Sox 6-1: Daisuke Matsuzaka gets a huge ovation leaving the mound after his fifth 1-2-3 inning of the game. There is stirring in the Red Sox bullpen. Matsuzaka has thrown 107 pitches.
End 6th, Red Sox 6-1: Toronto has not had very good starting pitching in this series. Its defense has been awful. And, at least tonight, the bats are silent. But one positive for the Jays has been the bullpen.
Shawn Camp allowed two to reach in the sixth but kept the Red Sox off the scoreboard, giving the Toronto pen 8 1/3 scoreless innings in the series.
J.D. Drew did steal a base in the sixth, his first stolen base since June 21, 2009.
Mid 6th, Red Sox 6-1: The shutout is gone after a pair of doubles in the sixth, but Daisuke Matsuzaka avoided the big inning that plagued him in his first two starts, when he gave up 10 of his 12 runs over the course of two bad frames.
Matsuzaka has nine strikeouts, one shy of matching his career high.
End 5th, Red Sox 6-0: The Sox got one hit in the fifth and it was a bunt single. Still, they sent seven men to the plate and tacked on two more for Daisuke Matsuzaka to work with. The Blue Jays' ineptitude was the catalyst.
The bunt single came from J.D. Drew, who led off the frame by perfectly placing one down the line toward third. Two straight walks loaded the bases and a wild pitch allowed the first run to come in.
After an intentional walk to load the bases the Jays got what they wanted with a groundball to short. But second baseman Aaron Hill dropped the toss from Alex Gonzalez and by the time he picked it up could not get a throw off to first to try to complete a double play.
Kevin Youkilis scored on the play.
8:52 p.m.: The night is over for Dana Eveland, who allowed the first two to reach in the fifth and then threw a ball to Mike Lowell before he was yanked. Shawn Camp is the first out of the Toronto bullpen.
Mid 5th, Red Sox 4-0: Just to reiterate, the one Blue Jays baserunner in this game came when catcher John Buck grounded one slowly into the hole between shortstop and third that Marco Scutaro grabbed but just couldn't get off in time.
Daisuke Matsuzaka recorded his seventh strikeout to end the fifth. He is absolutely dominant tonight.
End 4th, Red Sox 4-0: How to describe the Blue Jays' defense this series. How about pathetic? That work? Might not be strong enough.
Toronto was charged with just error in the fourth, but there were three misplays. First, third baseman Jose Bautista let a Jason Varitek roller get past him as he braced for Varitek's broken bat to hit him, even though the ball arrived well before the bat.
Then, the Jays added a gem to the blooper reel with an almost comical set of mistakes.
Bill Hall lofted a pop to shallow center that three players converged on, but nobody did a thing about it and the ball fell in. But with just one out, Varitek had only gone halfway to second and was a dead duck as a force, if only center fielder Vernon Wells could pick the ball up and throw it 20 feet.
Even that was a bit too difficult. Wells threw it over second baseman Aaron Hill's head and the Sox had first and second and one out. Darnell McDonald followed with an RBI double. Damage done.
Mid 4th, Red Sox 3-0: Aside from a solid liner by Vernon Wells to end the top of the fourth, there hasn't been anything hit too hard against Daisuke Matsuzaka.
Toronto's one hit was a 64-hopper into the hole between shortstop and third base that catcher John Buck beat out.
The Sox have to be pleased with what Matsuzaka is showing them, especially with the uncertainty surrounding Josh Beckett.
End 3rd, Red Sox 3-0: The Sox put one ball in play in the third and it ended the inning. Walk, walk, strikeout, hit batter, double play. That's how it went.
On a completely different note, there was some good news surrounding old friend Alan Embree today.
Mid 3rd, Red Sox 3-0: Daisuke Matsuzaka has fanned five of the first 10 men he has faced. In the third he got Travis Snider on a pretty changeup and Fred Lewis for the second time on a heater.
Matsuzaka's career high for strikeouts is 10, accomplished three times, all in his rookie year.
End 2nd, Red Sox 3-0: It's Jason Varitek's world and you're all just lucky he allows you to live in it.
Varitek homers for the sixth time in 36 at bats this year when he takes Dana Eveland over the Green Monster for a solo shot in the second.
The Red Sox captain is now 4-for-7 with five RBIs against Eveland.
Mid 2nd, Red Sox 2-0: It was an adventure in the Red Sox outfield in the second. Thankfully nobody was seriously hurt.
First, J.D. Drew struggled with a liner hit right at him, perhaps losing it in the lights. Then, he and Darnell McDonald collided on a ball in the gap. McDonald caught the ball as he and Drew bumped hips and fell to the turf.
The third out was recorded on another fly to right. This time it was routine for Drew.
End 1st, Red Sox 2-0: Dana Eveland should just call in sick when he sees his name lined up against the Red Sox.
"Um, yeah, skipper I'm not feeling all that well, and, you know, I can't really get these guys out anyway so I'm just gonna have some soup and stay in bed."
Eveland allowed two runs in the first inning and actually had his ERA against Boston lowered, from 18.24 to 18.23.
To be fair, Eveland wasn't hit all that hard. He walked Marco Scutaro and then gave up a double to Dustin Pedroia on a pop down the line in right that fell just out of the reach of right fielder Travis Snider and bounced into the stands.
J.D. Drew drove in a run with a groundout and Kevin Youkilis with a sacrifice fly to right that plated Pedroia.
Mid 1st, 0-0: Throwing mostly fastballs in the low-90s, Daisuke Matsuzaka works a quality first inning, striking out two. He had given up at least one run in his first two starts, including four in his previous outing.
7:07 p.m.: As the Red Sox take the field, just one interesting note to pass on. The Sox are the only team in the majors to have not had an error charged to a first or second baseman.
Kevin Youkilis and Mike Lowell have combined to have 324 chances at first without an error. Dustin Pedroia has successfully handled all 155 chances that have come his way.
Jacoby Ellsbury was out running the bases around 2 p.m. He began rather light jogs down the line but was soon sprinting first to third and second to home, and doing so with a good deal of intensity.
Terry Francona said Ellsbury has made nice progress over the past three or four days, and hopes to see more progress in the next three to four days. If we add a rehab stint on the back end of that it would seem as if Ellsbury is still a week or more away from returning.
If Ellsbury stays behind when the team travels to Detroit then that will mean that he is close to coming back and will head to Pawtucket. If he goes to Motown then it'll be some time before he returns.
Mike Cameron, who had a double and scored a run in his first rehab game Monday at Pawtucket, will play center field Tuesday, get a day off Wednesday and then play another rehab game Thursday. He will be re-evaluated after that, but Francona feels as if Cameron will need 4-5 games before he can be activated.
4:46 p.m.: Josh Beckett will in fact miss his start Friday in Detroit with what Red Sox manager has called a back spasm, apparently suffered Monday when Beckett was taking batting practice.
Clay Buchholz will take the start with five days of rest and the rotation will follow in order from there. Francona gave no immediate date for Beckett's return.
Pitchers were taking cuts in advance of the teams' series in Philadelphia next weekend.
Look for more on this story on NESN.com.
3:15 p.m.: We will have a more complete breakdown of the Red Sox lineup for Tuesday's meeting with Toronto, but here is a quick look at Terry Francona's starting nine:
Marco Scutaro SS
Dustin Pedroia 2B
J.D. Drew RF
Kevin Youkilis 1B
Mike Lowell DH
Adrian Beltre 3B
Jason Varitek C
Bill Hall LF
Darnell McDonald CF
2:51 p.m.: Although they still have some business to tend to in Fenway Park, the Toronto Blue Jays have seen their future schedule become shuffled a bit. Major League Baseball announced this afternoon that the Jays' three-game series at home against the Philadelphia Phillies, scheduled for June 25-27, will be moved to Philadelphia's Citizens Bank Park due to the G20 Summit in Toronto at that time.
The Summit, which has been the focus of major demonstrations in other world cities, is scheduled to take place June 26-27.
The games in Philly will be considered home games for the Blue Jays, who will bat last, and the designated hitter will be used. The decision to move the series came after consultations with both teams, G20 officials, law enforcement entities and the City of Toronto.
"After reviewing all of the options with the parties and taking all of the security considerations into account, it was determined that the best course of action is to play the series in Philadelphia," said MLB Commissioner Bud Selig.
Rogers Sports Entertainment President and CEO Paul Beeston said: "This was an extremely difficult decision and one which we did not take lightly. By moving our games to Philadelphia, we are acting in the best interests of our fans, our employees, the players and the game of baseball. We did not want to move the games but in looking at the realities of this situation, we felt that relocation was the most prudent course of action."
The series originally comprised the tail end of a nine-game homestand.
8 a.m.: Daisuke Matsuzaka makes his third start of the season Tuesday when the Red Sox host the Toronto Blue Jays.
Boston has won the first four meetings between the teams, but all have been close. The Sox took Monday's opener 7-6.
Matsuzaka has struggled through his first two starts, giving up 12 runs in 10 innings. Ten of the runs have come in two difficult innings, while the rest of the starts have been rather solid.
The Blue Jays counter with Dana Eveland, who has been awful in his career against Boston, giving up 25 earned runs in 12 1/3 innings (0-2, 18.24 ERA).
First pitch is 7:10 p.m.
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